Alcester Minster Churches
Worshipping God, making new disciples and transforming communities
Project Restore and Refresh
Project Restore 2017 - 2019
The most extensive restoration of the listed Grade II* St Nicholas Church to replace all ten nave window surrounds is at last finished. It has been the largest single project since the tower restoration in 1980’s, and probably the most major since the 1870’s addition of the present chancel and transepts.
When scaffolding was erected in May 2017 on the south face as the first of a phased repair of all four faces called for by 2014 quinquennial inspection, it was somewhat alarming to find on close examination that all ten of the 18th Century nave window stone surrounds were in such severe structural decay that only a full replacement with harder matching stone would prevent eventual collapse of the nave walls. This decay had previously been concealed by various overlaid mortar and concrete repairs over the ensuing years since the nave was built.
With a budget of £270,000 and funding already in progress, the Parochial Church Council had no alternative but to proceed with the replacement in two major phases of south and north, postponing the other faces in less need of immediate attention. The work was carried out by brothers Stephen and Stuart of R N Fear & Sons, from specifications by St Nicholas PCC’s managing architect, Graeme Beamish RIBA.
The south side was finished in March 2018, presenting a clean restored aspect of the church to its town that Alcester had not seen for very many years, and after a brief break the identical north side was begun in October and completed in June 2019.
Failing to win HLF award, it is noteworthy that nearly half of the project's cost has been raised by local donations and events. A quarter of the cost was raised in grants from 15 Charitable Trusts including Church of England Buildings Division, Garfield Weston Foundation, Georgian Group, Veneziana Fund, and various West Midlands Trusts including Alcester’s own Church Street Properties and Moor Field Trusts. The remainder made up from St Nicholas Parochial Council’s fabric reserves.
The PCC is very grateful to all who have supported this tremendous project, but remind that fabric funds continually need replenishment for further work essential to maintain Alcester’s historic listed and much loved Place of Worship and event venue for its future generations.
With this exterior restoration completed, Project Refresh for the interior can accelerate with faculty approved removal of one front row of pews, and replacement of existing carpets, sanding and varnishing of exposed side aisle wood flooring, and general redecoration.
Alcester Minster Churches - 07840 284 294 (Administrator)